Websites crashing, the Close Season Cup and the Soothing of the Gullible

Anyone wondering what the season ticket ‘added value’ was that Celtic have been working on behind the scenes might have an idea after yesterday.

It will likely be an undertaking that if you were part of a household purchasing multiple season tickets, you may have a higher than average chance of your streaming password working for at least one of you. As opposed to the gamblers who have purchased a single ticket and will be reliant on a solitary log in. Anyone trying to order the green 90’s retro Tracksuit top on the Celtic website yesterday will know what I mean. It crashed quicker than ‘the’ Rangers bottle after a winter trip to Dubai

After the big Adidas launch at last arriving, I got more excited than I’d thought about it. Though not so much due to the glossy advertising, more to celebrate the end of the Concept Kit Crew sharing their talented teenage mock ups online. Aye OK maybe I am too old to appreciate it.

What had built up all week was the Adidas big tease, followed by the multi-national distributor JD Sports also getting involved. It was all rather professional, polished and addictive. One shot of Ryan Christie in the Tracksuit top and I was hooked in.

It was then left to Celtic to get down to the not insignificant matter of bagging those pre-order sales ahead to the 6 August distribution. Oh dear.

That the Adidas launch was just advertising tracksuits and joggers, not the actual kit launch itself, was probably just as well. As it turned out – despite our international partners and sharp edged media production – the small issue of collecting orders fell down when left to Celtic themselves. I wonder if we furloughed our IT staff, it may explain some pre-season rustiness. I hope Callum McGregor isn’t as impacted by such an unusual period of inaction.

When Celtic asked fans to shell out their hard earned cash for a season ticket, that will in part at least meaning watching closed door games from the comfort of their own home, the fans responded and bought in huge numbers. They’ll be assured I’m sure now, that the extra money to get BT Sport production team Sunset and Vine involved may well give all some hope to cling to, that some supporters may get pictures to view in the first few weeks of the season. Had it been left entirely to Celtic TV, confidence may not be so high. Those with multiple season tickets will at least be hoping one of the household will have an operating pass. Hopefully some of these pre-season friendlies can be broadcast and allow the rough edges to be smoothed out ahead of the big kick off.

Despite those amusing teething problems, it appears the pull of the Adidas brand and what looks some high quality clobber has led to record breaking sales. Not bad considering the site crashed and the fact you can’t get your hands on your new gear for another month.

Add to this Celtic supporters have taken up the vast majority of the season ticket renewals and there are 17,000 now apparently on a waiting list. You can’t question the commitment to the cause of the Celtic support and an opportunity to witness 10-in-a-row. Had the club not been so sneaky with the refund process I’m certain far fewer would have taken up that option on the outstanding games from last season. I wonder if a few people at the club now realise that was a bit of an own goal.

Yet you’ll only hear about that financial success and supporter’s dedication on the Celtic website and fans media, as the mainstream press are too enthralled by ‘the’ now traditional Rangers close season renaissance.

‘the’ Rangers have struck a kit deal with a couple of scouse scallies who no longer apparently own the company – who does in anyone’s guess, but I’m not sure it would take a lot of working out as to who may have a share or two- And their support if you believe the press and it appears they do, have bought up the wares in their thousands. Blissfully unaware it would seem that Mike Ashley’s paws may still be in the till.

Worry not, there is a Scottish press more than happy to blindly issue apparent denials that in no way amount to anything approaching a rebuttal. There is a huge uptake of MyGers deals and the season ticket sales have been so good that there has been an immediate need to rehash the sinking pitch story – yes that one again – so the masses can be soothed that the 10,000 seat advantage that Celtic hold over them is only ever ‘just around the corner’ from reaching parity.

Meanwhile at Celtic that Castore deal clearly dwarfs Celtic’s Adidas deal, the season ticket uptake is clearly far less that the Govan grab and Celtic are on course for yet another hiding in the close season cup. Yes i’m bricking it that Lyndon Dykes and his dyed blue barnet sign on a Ibrox too.

If all I have to worry about is taking six attempts to get my 90’s green tracksuit into my online shopping basket, I’ll take that over Castore kits, Mike Ashley money grabs and 10,000 seats under the sea.

Niall J

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As a Bellshill Bhoy I was taken to my first Celtic game in the summer of 1987. It was Billy McNeill’s return to Celtic Park as manager and Celtic lost 5-1 to Arsenal . I thought I was a jinx, I think my Grandfather might have thought the same. It was finest gift anyone ever gave me when he walked me through Parhead's gates.

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